April 23, 2019 2:04 PM
Dane Lisser

Dr. Judy Parrish weighs in on making the local community more eco-friendly

Millikin University Professor of Biology Dr. Judy Parrish is a big advocate for global warming as well as researching the best techniques for a more eco-friendly community.

Earth Day was recently celebrated on April 22. It's the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.

In a recent interview with WAND-TV, Dr. Parrish offered her thoughts on understanding the implications of climate change and making the central Illinois community more eco-friendly.

"The first thing we have to do is remember that we're part of nature," said Dr. Parrish. "It's time to get serious about it. Some ways to help make central Illinois more eco-friendly would be to plant more trees and precycling – not buying items that require recycling. We need to understand how important trees and plants in general are."

Scientists say global greenhouse emissions should be cut in half by 2030. With 2030 A little over a decade away, the carbon dioxide emissions last year were at an all-time high.

Earth Day was started in 1970 after 3 million gallons of oil spilled off the coast of California the year before. The purpose is to increase awareness of the impact humans have on the environment, resonated with people of all political and geographic backgrounds, leading to a demonstration by millions of Americans.

"Now the main problem is habitat loss and climate change," said Dr. Parrish. "In areas where we have the most people, we have the least oxygen being produced."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) says small changes that can make big differences include buying energy-saving products, carpooling and buying locally-produced foods.